A man who has trained 35,000 people in life-saving and first aid skills and helped establish more than 50 defibrillators throughout the Melton borough has been given a prestigiuous award.
Martin Fagan was presented with the Cardiac Smart Gold Award by the ambulance services in recognition of his work.
As national secretary of the Community Heartbeat Trust, Mr Fagan has been instrumental in the placement of more than 200 life-saving defibrillators across Leicestershire and Rutland, many of them in public locations such as telephone boxes.
He said: “I was quite chuffed to receive the award.
“I have tried to get across to people that defibrillators are not toys, they are very powerful and important devices which should be treated with respect.
“We also encourage life-support training to be undertaken in schools.”
Defibrillators are capable of giving high energy shocks to people who are experiencing cardiac arrests and they can help save lives before paramedics arrive on the scene.
Mr Fagan, who lives in Stathern, said: “There are 50 to 60 in the Melton borough but there are always new places we would like to put them in.”
“We have one in Burton Street in Melton which is one of the most used defibrillators in the county.
“It’s used on average every couple of weeks so it’s clearly very important to have it there.”
The next local defibrillator is set to installed at a location at the airfield in Great Dalby.
Mr Fagan has identified three more locations in Melton which need one.
They are the housing estate off Nottingham Road near The Welby pub, close to the Tesco store on Thorpe Road to serve householders there and in the town centre at Thorpe End near to the McDonald’s restaurant.
The devices are funded through the Community Heartbeat Trust charity, with contributions from local companies and organisations.
Mr Fagan added: “In the Melton area we’ve had an awful lot of support from Melton Mowbray Building Society, which has helped fund five or six.
“We’re also grateful for the contributions from organisations like Leicestershire County Council and Melton Mowbray Town Estate.
“Quite a few are in phone boxes but we look at locations the community can access.”